TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What Is a Provisional License?
- How Do First Time Drivers Get a Provisional License?
- Can a Teen Be on Someone Else’s Insurance if They Have a Provisional License?
- What to Do if a Provisional License Holder Owns the Car They Are Driving
Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Before they can actually get their license, though, many states require young drivers to first get a learner’s permit, also known as a provisional license. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 60 percent of teenagers get their license before the age of 18.
But what about insurance for a first time driver? And is there such a thing as provisional license insurance? Here’s what you need to know about how car insurance companies treat drivers with a provisional license.
What Is a Provisional License?
Teenagers need the opportunity to learn the rules of the road and to improve their driving skills. Thankfully, state DMVs issue a provisional license to teenage drivers, which lets them legally drive while they learn the rules of the road before they can get a full license.
Unlike a regular license, a provisional driver’s license has a number of restrictions on it, depending on the state it’s issued in. In many states, teenage drivers receive a provisional license as a part of the process leading up to receiving a full license.
Teens usually must have their provisional license for a period of at least six months to a year prior to getting their driver’s license. Some of the other restrictions provisional licenses carry include:
- They must have a licensed driver in the car with them while they are driving.
- That licensed driver must be over the 20 years old.
- The teen must drive within specific hours during the day (usually between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.) Many states do allow exceptions for driving to and from work.
How Do First Time Drivers Get a Provisional License?
In order to get a provisional license, drivers need to meet certain criteria, including:
- Be between the age of 15 years six months and 18 years old.
- Have completed a driver’s education course.
- Have an instruction permit (signed by at least one responsible adult).
- Must have also filled out an application for the provisional license.
- Agree to comply with any request for drugs or alcohol (agreed to as a part of the application process).
- Pass a vision test.
Once that is all taken care of, a teen driver can get a provisional license. Most important: They must keep the provisional license with them while they are driving.
Tip: As a parent or guardian, you should also consider having your teen take a teen driver’s education course as a part of the provisional license process, which can better prepare them for their driving test and teach them how to drive more safely.
Can a Teen Be on Someone Else’s Insurance if They Have a Provisional License?
In most cases, when a teen gets a provisional driver’s license, they are put on their parent’s insurance policy until they get their full driver’s license. Once they do get their driver’s license, they are expected to get their own insurance from one of the auto insurance companies—or at least be added as a regular driver to their parents’ or guardians’ policy.
One of the downsides of this is you can say goodbye to your cheap car insurance, with insurance for new drivers adding up to $100 or more per month because they have more accidents, depending on the insurance company and specific auto insurance policy. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenage drivers are nearly four times as likely to have an accident compared to older drivers, which will obviously increase insurance rates.
Fortunately, using an insurance broker allows you to shop for a more affordable car insurance policy. And while there is really no such thing as provisional license insurance, it is important that you provide your teen with coverage by talking to your insurance agent and adding your teen to your policy.
What to Do if a Provisional License Holder Owns the Car They Are Driving
If the provisional license holder owns the vehicle they will be driving, they will need to purchase their own auto insurance. This can get quite expensive, so if you have a teen who is ready to get their license, talk to your car insurance agent to see what your options are. In some cases it might be as simple as adding them to your policy while they wait to get their driver’s license. Once they get their license, make sure to shop around for the most affordable car insurance rates.